Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle United 0, Chelsea 0

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle United 0, Chelsea 0

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

(Chelsea win 5-4 on penalties) - The people of Kuala Lumpur had waited all week for the Premier League Asia Cup to come alive but it was not until the final moments of this four-day showcase that pulses finally began to race.

There is a school of thought which concludes penalty shoot-outs should not decide any form of football but Chelsea's dramatic 5-4 victory against Newcastle was exactly what the English game required to restore its reputation in South East Asia.

On chances created in normal time the Londoners undoubtedly deserved to take home the imposing Selangor Trophy and, had it not been for a Shay Given masterclass, a 41,000-plus crowd would have been denied the game's gripping final flourish.

Yet once the tournament moved to sudden death, Sir Bobby Robson's desire to complete the job in Malaysia was clear for all to see.

His disappointment with Jermaine Jenas' decisive miss, etched across his furrowed brow, belied the feelings of this born winner.

Alan Shearer and Laurent Robert missed each of United's first two penalties but cool conversions from Kieron Dyer, Lee Bowyer and Craig Bellamy saw the two teams tied at 3-3. Jenas had the chance to level again at 5-5, but his disastrous lob was a shot to forget as it drifted harmlessly over Carlo Cudicini's crossbar.

Earlier, Claudio Ranieri's decision to field Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen from the start delighted the competition's biggest crowd, but Shearer's absence was less popular with the former England skipper's Kuala Lumpur fan club.

Yet Chelsea's first choice strike pair immediately served notice of their own renowned quality, frequently cutting through a Newcastle defence featuring Jonathan Woodgate for the first time on tour, and putting the recalled Given under intense and sustained early pressure.

United's Irish international was the busier of the two keepers throughout the first half, spreading himself to deny Jesper Gronkjaer, reacting sharply to take the sting out of Frank Lampard's long-range effort and stretching fully to shepherd Gudjohnsen's left-footed shot to safety. …

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